US public debt has grown by over $20trn over the last 20 years. At the start of February 2020, the public debt in America sat around $23.4trn and has risen over $1.3trn in just six months, according to the US Department of the Treasury.
With the Coronavirus sweeping the world, it seems that public borrowing will dramatically increase over the next few months. Workers are being laid off, businesses are closing up, some for a short period, others for good, fueling concern for families living on the breadline.
The 2030 public borrowing forecast is estimated to hit $31.5trn, a rise of $8trn in 10 years but given that many Americans will be turning to personal loans and even payday loans at this tough time, this forecast may prove to be modest.
Public debt continues to be one of the most prominent political issues in the States. Even with plans from both Democrats and Republican parties on how to lower the national debt, it is only expected to increase over the next decade especially with the current economic climates being so unpredictable.
In March 2019 there was a drop in debt at over $100m, which flat-lined through to July 2019 then grew drastically through to Feb 2020, and is likely to keep growing in March and throughout the next few months as the Coronavirus continues to spread.
As of February 2020, there are $2.4trn of loan agreements outstanding with American commercial banks. With almost 80% of Americans being in debt to a wider range of financial lenders including banks, payday loan companies, mortgages, and auto title loans. There are understood to be over 12 million people with at least one payday loan in the US.
However, America isn’t in the top three of countries with the highest public debts. As of the end of 2019 Japan, Sudan and Greece are currently the nations with the highest levels of debt. Brunei, Afganistan, and Estonia have the lowest. Two regions have no debt at all – Hong Kong and Macao.